Granite Anvil 1200 2017 Route (Black line depicts Route):
Granite Anvil 1200 Route:
Day 1: Oshawa to Parry Sound
It will be dark at 4:00 AM when you start the Granite Anvil Randonneur 1200km on 24 August 2017. You will not notice that the first 10km is a steady climb as you leave Lake Ontario and start the zigzag ride across the grid roads of central Ontario farmlands just north of Toronto. The route design avoids urban areas as much as possible so the first chance for a sit down at a fast food restaurant will be in the industrial city of Alliston at 118km. Leaving Alliston the route will be passing through more farm land before the climb up the Niagara Escarpment begins after passing Creemore. The 300 meter climb passes in about 10km and you will then be on top of Blue Mountain. You will see some magnificent views of Georgian Bay that will pass quickly during the fast descent on Grey Road 19 to the second control at Wasaga Beach at 230km.
The route after Wasaga Beach circles around the south eastern end of Georgian Bay first through cottage developments clustered along the beach and then returning to farm lands on straight grid roads. The transition from farm lands to Canadian Shield seems to pass slowly as the farm land becomes more marginal and derelict as we pass Foxmeadow and Cambian Roads. By South Sparrow Lake we will be on rolling granite hills. Southwood Road at 312km has no straights or flats. There are continuous curves and gentle climbs and drops as it twists through coniferous forests. The last 100km of day 1 has no elevation gain as we are returning to Georgian Bay at Parry Sound for the first overnight.
Day 2: Parry Sound to Bancroft
In keeping with the Randonneurs Mondial spirit of emulating Paris-Brest-Paris we relax the speed profile earlier than on an ACP brevet, beginning at 270km on day 1. We still must maintain on average 13.5 km/hr through out the 90 hours but on Day 2 the control times are calculated at 12.6km/hr. We also will ride across the height of land between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa Valley. There are short sections of 15% or more grade between Huntsville and Dwight. Pay attention to sand on the corners. It is applied to the roads for traction in the winter time and even by August decades of accumulation have not washed away. The ride through Algonquin Park is on a wide road right of way where we have a 2 meter paved shoulder on ON-60. Park permits are required for people who are stopping to hike or canoe, but since we will ride straight through we will not need a permit. The park gates do have washrooms that are never locked for riders passing in late hours.
There will be frequent opportunities to pick up water and snacks in the first half of the day on the western side of the park. East of the park there is less development; there will be long stretches without villages or stores. The hills however will relent. ON-127 follows a flat sandy valley beside an abandoned railway line that is now an ATV route. We will circle Elephant Lake and finish the ride into Bancroft along the shore of South Baptiste Lake.
Day 3: Bancroft to Napanee
Bancroft has a reputation for hilly cycling and today we will show you a few of the hills. We leave Bancroft riding north on ON-62 and soon turn onto Musclow Greenview Road. It rises in a series of rollers until the descent to Renfrew 62 that is spoiled at the county line. Slow down, there is a stop sign and one lane bridge at the end of the descent. After a bit of downhill on Renfrew 62 we will ride Clearview and then Siberia Roads. Riders from Granite Anvil 2013 rememeber Siberia Road both because of its 20% climb from the Madawaska River but also because the temperature was 4C on that early August morning.
Quiet flat roads overhung by trees (Old Barrys Bay Road and ON-28) are punctuated by Schutt Hill,Snake Creek Hill, Denbigh and frequent hills on Buckshot Lake Road. Buckshot has gotten a bad name from GA riders in past years but once that section is completed, there is more downhill than uphill all the way to Lake Ontario. In the afternoon and evening of day 3 the country side will return to dirt instead of granite. The trees will dwindle and grassy fields will appear. The roads will become straighter. And overall elevation will decrease as we ride to Napanee and the overnight.
Day 4: Napanee to Oshawa
Prince Edward County is almost an island. From Napanee, we will cross a high bridge on ON-49 over the Bay of Quinte and then follow the bay around to Carrying Place, the old portage between Quinte and Lake Ontario. Our route now follows the Waterfront Trail as much as possible, but at times the Trail goes on rough dirt and we stay on pavement. When we stray from the trail, the cue sheet will warn do NOT take the trail.
The final 100km is new for 2017. We stay along the lake shore longer in order to avoid busy roads. This also reduces the climbing on the last day. After the ON-401 underpass at 1187km there will be another 100 meters of climbing until the finish back at Durham College.
Overall Granite Anvil profile
Total elevation gain is around 11,800 metres (38,700 feet). There are some flat sections, if you aren't going up, you'll be going down. The total up obviously matches the downs.